The government was forced to relocate a crucial fiber optic cable to prevent internet blackouts when work on the 160 billion shillings toll highway between Nairobi and Mau Summit begins in September.
The ICT ministry wants to move internet cables by the end of next month before the construction of the 234-kilometer highway through Nakuru.
“The government requires the relocation of utilities by July 31, 2021. The State Department of ICT and Innovation will undertake the relocation of fiber infrastructure to minimize downtime,” said the Ministry of ICT.
One of the main ICT infrastructures along the route is the National Optic Fiber Backbone Infrastructure (Nofbi) project which began in 2005, when the state was preparing to connect all major cities to high-speed internet.
Currently, the Nofbi fiber optic ring crosses 58 towns in 35 counties in Kenya.
The relocation of the optical cable will be done in four lots: Rironi-Naivasha via Mai Mahiu, Rironi-Naivasha, Naivasha-Nakuru and Nakuru-Mau Summit.
The new design will integrate with Nofbi and connect to all government sites and institutions along the route, as well as existing licensed internet service providers and telecommunications operators.
The Nairobi-Mau Summit Road project is part of the Trans-African Highway, the main transport route serving East and Central African countries from the port of Mombasa.
Last year, Kenya awarded the road contract to Rift Valley Highway Limited, a French consortium made up of Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure Africa Fund and Vinci Concessions SAS.
The project aims to expand the road into a four-lane highway through a public-private partnership model.
The consortium is expected to design, finance, build, operate and maintain the road, recouping its investment through toll charges over 30 years.
The project will also include the widening of the existing Rironi-Mai Mahiu-Naivasha road to a seven-meter carriageway with two-meter shoulders on both sides.
The contractor will also build a four-kilometer elevated highway through the town of Nakuru, construct and improve interchanges along the highway.